Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: Suicide Notes

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

HarperTeen, 295 pages

“How come someone always saves the people who try to kill themselves and then makes them tell everyone how sorry they are for ruining their evening? I keep feeling like everyone wants me to apologize for something. but I'm not going to. I don't have anything to apologize for. They're the ones who screwed everything up. Not me. I didn't ask to be saved.”

Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year's Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff's perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they've got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on—the crazies start to seem less crazy.

This book was a bit intense. I sometimes felt my own wrists ache in response to whats going on. I have never tried to commit suicide but I know someone who has, so this book cut deep for me emotionally. But it was funny as hell too – Jeff is just so damn sarcastic! I loved that I somehow went to all the stations of the healing process with Jeff. In the beginning I thought “Yeah, he is not as crazy as the rest of them!” and then it felt more like the line between who was actually crazy and who wasn’t blurred. You get to know a little more about everyone, some people leave , some stay on after Jeff leaves. It felt a bit like a machinery that spit out healthy people. His psychiatrist grew on me a little. I loved how Jeff turned the game around, it made the doctor seem more human, more three dimensional. I had the feeling he learned from the patients as much as the patients learned from him. Also, Jeff didn’t realize it, but the doc definitly did his job, slowly and steadily with the help of the other patients in the group and his family. This is a very quick, fun and enlightened read. Totally recommended.

Rating ★★


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